Home Tape Trail

Reel to reel, cassette and other analogue tape formats.

RE: Want a RTR;Recommendations

I think Dave Pogue got it right - the Otari MX5050 B2-II is a good bet. I was astonished how good it sounded for 15 ips half-track playback, even with its stock repro electronics.

I liked the hubs/hold-downs - worked great for NAB reels, and also worked great for small reels (you just slap them on top of the reel and twist/tighten the center part.)

Build quality is outstanding. Tape handling is OK, not great; some of these seem to have tape tension that's on the high side, and I've never found anyone who knew how to adjust it.

Parts, heads, pinch rollers, all widely available, and not at Studer prices. Actually, beat-to-sh** 5050's are often on ebay at prices that make them good candidates for "parts" machines.

Accessibility to boards, motors, etc. inside is excellent. You can get a complete printed service manual - check around on tape forums; some guy does an excellent job of reproducing them, including the fold-out schematics.

By far the best sound I've had at home was that deck feeding a Bottlehead Crack/Speedball amp with Senn HD800s. It really did blow everything away.

The Studer PR99 and B67 may sound slightly better, and certainly have more sophisticated transports, but they (and parts for them) come at a considerable cost.

Good luck.

"A man need merely light the filaments of his receiving set and the world's greatest artists will perform for him." Alfred N. Goldsmith, RCA, 1922

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  • RE: Want a RTR;Recommendations - Bill Way 10:07:45 10/16/15 (0)


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